Milton Hershey School Students Earn Honors at State SkillsUSA Competition
Milton Hershey School students experienced success at the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania competition in April.
The students, all seniors at MHS, qualified for the competition after earning first-medal honors at the District SkillsUSA Competition in January. Coleman Vaughan placed first in the Job Interview category. Nevaeh Heverling placed first in the Prepared Speech category. Tijesuni “Joy” Ademuwagun placed third in the Medical Math category.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry professionals working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The MHS students’ success is especially noteworthy because some opponents spend half or full school days learning about the field in which they compete. MHS students spend just 75 minutes each day.
Coleman will attend East Carolina University in the fall, majoring in finance. He plans to pursue a career as an investment banker.
“Job interviewing is one of the first steps toward making a good impression in the professional world,” Coleman said. “Developing these skills will aid me in preparing for challenging interviews at financial institutions.”
Nevaeh’s passion for writing and delivering speeches began when she was in sixth grade. The Skills USA competition gave her the opportunity to advance her craft.
“SkillsUSA showed me how powerful my voice is, I can make a difference in just a six-minute speech,” Nevaeh said. “The contest’s theme, ‘Our time is now,’ opened my eyes to my future and how I can make a change and difference.”
Preparing MHS students for the annual SkillsUSA competition is a campus-wide affair that extends to Hershey Community Partners. Coleman practiced his interview skills with Hershey Entertainment and Resorts CEO John Lawn and Corporate Controller and Budget Director Rebecca A. Price. Likewise, MHS English Teacher Brian Nowotnik and Music Teacher Jeremy Ulrich assisted Nevaeh.
“They reviewed countless rough drafts with me, timed me, and had me read it over and over again until it was basically a part of me,” Nevaeh said. “They were both my biggest supporters.”
Coleman will travel to Atlanta, Georgia, in June for the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Although she qualified, Nevaeh will not participate in the competition. She will be undergoing Army National Guard Basic Training to be a radar operator and fire ranger.
The MHS SkillsUSA chapter is connected to the school’s Career and Technical Education program. As a part of the program, all high school students are required to choose from one of 12 career pathways. They receive specialized courses, hands-on learning opportunities, and professional work experience. Programs such as SkillsUSA provide students with additional career exposure and preparation to broaden the opportunities offered to them after graduation.